In the year 1864 the Danish king Friedrich VII deceased. With his death, the personnell union of Schleswig-Holstein with the Danish crown had to end, because the successor - Christian IX. - was not a direct descended and this way was not entitled to inherit in Schleswig-Holstein. With the attempt of the new Danish ruler to integrate Schleswig-Holstein into the Danish Kingdom the Parliament of Schleswig-Holstein asked the German Federation for assistance, in order to finally separate from Denmark. After the victory of the federal troops over Denmark in 1865, the treaty of Gastein determined to introduce Schleswig under Prussian and Holstein under Austrian administration to the German Federation. Austria was not satisfied with this compromise and instead prefered the suggestion of the Schleswig-Holstein Parliament the entitled Friedrich v. Augustenburg to become duke of an independant state. When Austria at the beginning of of 1866 placed this request in the German Federal Parliament (Frankfurt), Prussia saw itself rear and also annected the Austrian occupied Holstein. In order to keep the remaining German states neutral in the Prussian-Austrian war, Bavaria placed in the Federal Parliament the request to remove the Prussian as well as Austrian troops from the Federal Army. Further the Federal Army was mobilized to react, if either Prussia or Austria should attact one of the other German states.
Now Prussia tried to split the neutral German Federation with promises and to find allies against Austria. Prussia offered the King of Hanover to annect the Grand-Duchy of Oldenburg, as well as the Counties of Waldeck and Schaumburg-Lippe, if he retreated from the Federation and fought on Prussia's side. But King George V. remained faithful for the Federation, contrary to some other princes of small German states, which could be enticed from the Prussian promises.
When it finally came to the war between Austria and Prussia, Bayern's fear became reality: Prussia saw her chance to take over the guidance of Germany and to rearrange the territorial posessions to hger favour: The Prussian-Austrian war developed to the Prussian-German war, since Prussia declared war on the neutral states of the German Federation - among these also the Kingdom of Hanover. Before the Hanoverian troops could unite with those of the southern German states, half the way from northern to southern Germany near Langensalza (Thuringia), Hanoverian troops came across with Prussians. Though the Hanoverians triumphed over Prussians, their leaders realized they could have achieved no further victory against oncoming Preussian troops and capitulated. When on 3 July 1866 Prussia struck the Austrian troops at Königgrätz, the fate of the 1815 founded German Federation was sealed. On the advice of Prussia's Chancelor Bismarck she annected the countries Hanover, Schleswig-Holstein, Hessen-Kassel (Kur-Hessen), Nassau, a part of Hessen-Darmstadt as well as the so far Free-city Frankfurt/Main as provinces. Together with the remaining, independant states in northern Germany (Dutchies Brunswick & Oldenburg, the Free-cities Hamburg, Bremen & Lübeck) Bismarck founded a North German Federation and created alliances with the southern states of Germany. After the French-German war 1871 the German Reich was proclaimed at Versailles (near Paris/France) and excluded Austria finally from Germany.
For the second time in one century Prussia now had occupied Hanoverland. During its campaign Napoléon had surrendered the Kingdom of Hanover in 1805 to Prussia, which had to return it however after her defeat with the battle at Jena and Auerstedt in 1806. Hanover formed thereupon together with Hessen-Kassel and Braunschweig up to the victory over Napoléon the Kingdom of Westphalia, where a brother of Napoléon was souvereign.
Duribg the time of Prussian occupation the life for the Hanoverian people was not simple. The self-sufficiency was resolved, one was governed from Berlin . Like catholics and social-democrats, also the Hanoverians were regarded as realm enemies, since they still remained faithfully for " their " king and required a free Hanover.
81 years lasted this injustice. When the Allied reorganisated Germany after the end of the Second World War, especially Prussia - the home of militarism and nationalism in Germany - was a thorn in the eye: The largest of the German states, which had possessed the supremacy and agressed not only against Germans, but also against European countries. After the detachment of the Prussian provinces, she was distinguished on February 25th 1947 forever after.
However, August 23rd 1946 meant the long desired liberty for the former Prussian provinces. By the regulation No. 46 of the British Military Government Hanover and Schleswig-Holstein, as well as the new formed North Rhine-Westphalia recieved the statuses of independant states, i.e. the former Kingdom of Hanover was released from Prussian hegemony and justified as State of Hanover again. For the Hanoverians it was a special satisfaction that it was a British regulation; for the Hanoverian kings from 1714 to 1837 were in personnel union also king of Great Britain.
The efforts by Hanover's Premierminister Hinrich-Wilhelm Kopf, the States of Brunswick, Hanover, Oldenburg, and Schaumburg-Lippe unified to today's Federal-State of Lower Saxony on November 1st, 1946.
Map of Northen Germany 1946
©1999 Lutz König, Alte Wiesenstr. 20, D-29506 Uelzen